Biogeochemical Cycles Marine Science

Rain over Moosehead Lake, Maine

Water Cycle:

  • The water cycle is a process where water circulates through the earth's oceans, atmosphere, and land by evaporation going into the atmosphere, then precipitating (Rain, Snow, Hail) into rivers and lakes, and the returning to the ocean to go through the cycle again.
  • Chemical reactions: Evaporation of water changes into a water vapor in the atmosphere.
  • Inorganic Components: There is no carbon in water making it an inorganic compound
  • Humans impact the water cycle by polluting the water supply and causing bodies of waters to become polluted.
Sunset Moosehead Lake, Maine

Nitrogen Cycle:

  • The nitrogen cycle is when Nitrogen and other compounds are combined in the environment and living organisms.
  • Chemical reactions: Fixation, ( Ammonification(N2 - NH4+), Nitrification (NH4+ - NO3-), and Denitrification (NO3- - N2+N2O)
  • Inorganic components: Urea (Reactive)
  • Organic Component: Ammonia
  • Impact of humans by trying to increase the amount of nitrogen available in the ecosystem such as fossil fuels and Nitrogen-based Fertilizer.
Mount Kineo Moosehead Lake, Maine

Carbon Cycle:

  • The carbon cycle is a process where carbon compounds are combined in the environment such as photosynthesis, decaying dead organisms, or burning of fossil fuels.
  • Chemical reactions: Cellular respiration (C6H12O6(organic matter) + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O + ENERGY) Photosynthesis ( ENERGY(Sunlight) + 6CO2 + H2O = C6H12O6 + 6O2)
  • Organic components: Carbon
  • Humans impact the carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels.
Moosehead Lake, Maine

Phosphorus Cycle:

  • The Phosphorus cycle is when phosphorus moves through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.
  • Chemical reactions involved white phosphorus glows in the dark when exposed to damp air. (chemuluminescence)
  • inorganic components: natural phosphate in the mineral apatite
  • human impact on the phosphorus cycle is by using fertilizer and hog waste.


Created with images by Dana Moos - "Sunset on Maine's Moosehead Lake..." • J Wynia - "nitrogencycle"

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